The return of the gods: Transformations of the Greek divinities in nineteenth and twentieth century literature
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
First Committee Member
Robert Casillo, Committee Chair
The gods of the Homeric epics derive from ritual divinities and are closely bound up with human sacrifice and other forms of violence. The violent origins of the gods, forgotten during the long reign of allegorical interpretation, were recovered during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Keats emphasized that the gods were not representatives of a transcendent realm but creations of the human imagination. Ruskin divorced the gods from their anthropomorphic images and represented them as existing within natural phenomena. Pound evoked the gods as agents of ritual cleansing and communal scapegoating. Pound's primitivism recreates the violent gods of Archaic Greece. For all their beauty, Pound's gods are psychic projections of, and justifications for, human violence.
Literature, Classical; Literature, American; Literature, English
Clarke, Larry Robert, "The return of the gods: Transformations of the Greek divinities in nineteenth and twentieth century literature" (1991). Dissertations from ProQuest. 2918.